Es folgt eine etwas bessere Übersicht:
BIP 2013: 323 Mrd. €
I. Pensionsversicherung der Sozialversicherung 2013:
37,1 Mrd. € ~ 11,5% des BIPs
II. Zuschuss zur PV aus dem Budget 2013:
9,7 Mrd. € ~ 3% des BIPs
III. Beamtinnen und Beamten-Pensionen 2013:
8,9 Mrd. € ~ 2,75% des BIPs
IV. Summe I. + II. + III. 2013:
55,7 Mrd. € ~ 17,2% des BIPs
Forecast (mit 313 Mrd. € für BIP 2013 gerechnet): http://goo.gl/CuxcfK
Pensions: the dangers of demographics
Many Austrians almost choked on their breakfast Melange und Semmel – or coffee and bread roll – this year, when they opened a letter about their future state pensions.
This made the link between contributions and future pensions transparent for the first time.
Austrians have long been used to retiring early on generous pay-as-you-go pensions, the result of a political consensus designed to keep unemployment down. But now everyone born after 1955 could clearly see they would have to work much longer than their parents to earn the same pensions.
“This created a big wave of misunderstanding, deep disappointment and anger,” says Wolfgang Bachmayer, head of market research institute OGM.
Yet the key question is whether these reforms, agreed a decade ago, are radical enough to make the system sustainable. A commission of experts is due to report any time now on whether further modifications are needed.
The biggest challenge facing the Austrian state pension system, as seen elsewhere in Europe, is the rapid shift in the country’s demographic profile as today’s baby-boomers retire and live longer.
Austria is currently reasonably fortunate compared with many of its neighbours, but the picture worsens rapidly over the next decades. Those aged 65 or older today represent a quarter of those aged between 15 and 64; this will soar to half by 2050.
Against this backdrop, the main focus of wide-ranging reforms in the first half of the 2000s was to reduce the gap between the statutory pension age of 65 and the effective pension age.
A thicket of special rules for various occupations was cleared, notably those that enabled many workers to retire earlier than the statutory pension age. The rules for disabled pensions were also tightened. Whereas nearly a third of new retirees used to be classified as disabled, the figure is now a quarter.
Women would finally be treated the same as men by phasing the rise in their pension age from 60 to 65 between 2024 and 2033.
The other key plank of the reform was to force workers to contribute over a longer period to accrue a full pension, and to raise the penalty for retiring early.
The OECD has supported the reforms but says the government could have been more radical in accelerating the rise in women’s pensionable age and penalising early retirement.
The government argues the system needs to bed down before any further big changes, and says the pension commission can advise on modifications.
The government’s medium-term goal is to raise the average retirement age to 60 by the time of the next election in 2018. Currently the average is 59.6 for men, 57.5 for women, making an overall average of 58.5.
“If this target is not reached then the government will implement ‘binding measures’,” says Josef Bauernberger of the ministry of social affairs.
Some analysts, however, argue that the pension age should be ratcheted upwards automatically to prevent political meddling.
“Our biggest challenge is how to increase the retirement age,” says Markus Knell, the central bank’s pension expert. “One step is missing,” he says. “There is no automatic reaction to the demographic system, especially the increase in life expectancy.”
Even if the changes do succeed in raising the pension age as planned, the gross cost of the state system is forecast to rise from some 14 per cent of GDP to around 16.4 per cent by 2050, a significant shift in a country where social contributions are already among the highest in Europe. How to pay for this burden is driving the current debate in government on tax reform.
There is a political consensus that pension contributions should not be increased – these alone make up 22.8 per cent of gross salary (12.55 per cent from employers, 10.25 per cent from the employee). “Our contributions are at an elevated level – they cannot be raised,” says Christoph Leitl of the WKO economic chamber.
But the coalition is also determined that the overall tax burden be reduced, ruling out using more of taxpayers’ money to balance the pension books unless there are big cuts elsewhere.
Robert Anderson is chief news editor of business new europe